• Czech Republic,  Film,  Karlovy Vary

    Looking Back on KVIFF: Film Festival Memories

    It doesn’t really feel like summer in the Czech Republic for us without KVIFF – the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival. We’ve been attending nearly every year since we arrived here and as you may have guessed, they made the wise decision to cancel what would have been the 55th edition taking place this week. It hasn’t all been a no-film doom and gloom scenario, though. As I’ve raved about on social media, KVIFF participated in the We Are One Global Film Festival in late May, along with something like sixteen other festivals (such as Cannes, Venice, Toronto, Berlin, etc) and it was such an incredibly enriching experience to have…

  • Life Abroad,  Summer,  Thoughts

    This Fourth of July

    As we moved from the United States to the Czech Repubilc, I assumed we’d be trading one country’s national day for another. Turns out, which is not altogether surprising if you are familiar with Czech/Czechoslovak history, the Czech Republic doesn’t exactly celebrate their national day – there is none of the fervor that is associated with American Independence Day. The history of the 20th century has made things a lot more complicated. There is Independent Czechoslovak State Day (October 28th) when Czechoslovakia declared their independence, maybe the closest thing to Independence Day there is here, but also Restoration of the Independent Czech State (January 1st), when the Czech Republic as…

  • Czech Republic,  Daily Life,  South Bohemia,  Spring,  Summer

    Late Spring / Early Summer

    Happy happy summer! I’ve been celebrating the arrival of this ever joyous season with cafe days, double scoops of ice cream, trip planning and rediscovering the joy of reading outdoors in the warm, sun-filled evenings (above) when we are lucky enough to have them! It comes in such a short window every year that I sort of forget about it until it happens. There’s been a literal stack of books I’ve been trying to get through as a part of two book club (“reading circles”) I’ve been participating in… reminding me how nice it would just be to pluck a book from the shelf and read what I felt like.…

  • Daily Life,  Spring,  Thoughts

    The Earth is Shifting

    Hello, friends. What a strange but impactful few weeks it has been. In the days leading up to last week of May, I had rare bout of anxiety about the world opening up again after the worst of Coronatimes had wound down here in the Czech Republic. When the director of your school e-mails you and starts into “good news! we can go back to school!”, it’s incredibly unsettling because for the previous two months, we had all been unlearning how to be and teach at school. How to do everything from home. How wonderful having no commutes were, let’s be honest. That first week back, I was a little…

  • Herbalism,  Recipe,  Spring

    Make Your Own: Lilac Syrup

    Some readers know that two years ago I started my journey with studying herbalism (more reasons why I’m doing that on that post) but I decided last month that, given the current world situation, now may be a better time than ever to go past “beginner” and take my studies to the next level with an intermediate course of study. I guess joke’s on me a little bit– hoping I’d get to “enjoy” the lock-down life because despite the pandemic I have been absolutely busy with normal things and really have to try hard (between work, cooking, garden, the necessary relaxation necessary to enjoy life) to study three subjects again……

  • Budějovice,  Czech Republic,  Life Abroad,  Milestones,  South Bohemia,  Spring,  Travel

    May, Lately + More Thoughts of Traveling “These Days”

    What a beautiful spring we are having this year! Unlike other years where it’s been like winter winter winter SUMMER and maybe one week of spring temperatures, we’ve really seen spring this year. April has been full of warm days and sun, trickling into May, even though we’re in a couple days of a cold snap right now (a good excuse to sit down and write something), I have really been enjoying it (ughhh, I probably say this every year, so here it is). I just actually learned about the days May 12-14 here called the “days of the ice men” (Ledoví muži). This is because those days are the…

  • Germany,  Travel,  TravelTips

    Our Germany Travel Wish Lists

    The Corona Age is heralding in a new phase of travel — domestic and local. No longer are we dreaming of going abroad this summer (okay, maybe just a little as there are rumors of the borders to Austria and Slovakia opening by July in some capacity – eyes are peeled) but it seems much safer, if you’re planning to do any travel this summer, to make that trip one of a local variety. What a great opportunity to start dreaming of places to go, then? My imagination had already started running wild when I made the 8 Places on my Czech Republic Wish List. But then Heather, a former…

  • Czech Republic,  Easter,  Minimalism,  Spring,  Thoughts

    On Silencing the Noise

    If there’s anything that has come of this whole self-isolation (today, April 20th being Day 38 for me), it’s that I envy the heck out of people’s sunny backyards and garden spaces. I am ever so grateful to live in a flat with a nice balcony, but not having my own outdoor space is a hard pill to swallow during these times. I suppose it’s inevitable when you want to do and see everything, when you want to live everywhere. I was lucky enough to grow up with a huge backyard at my disposal. In the nicer months, there wasn’t a day I wasn’t out there. I never realized until…

  • Czech Republic,  Travel,  TravelTips

    What My Czech Republic Travel List Looks Like These Days

    And no… I’m not going to call it my Czech list. It’s been interesting to see that different people are coping with this pandemic situation in different ways. Some people are writing and communicating a lot more than usual. Some people prefer not to mention it and have pretty much stopped posting on social media. Everyone’s confused. Nobody knows how to plan anything anymore. I mean, when this headline came out (“Czech borders could be closed as long as two years”) came out earlier last week, many of us were bummed. Upon discussion with a few other people about this terrible two year announcement, most people think that the borders…

  • Czech Republic,  Life Abroad,  Spring,  Thoughts

    Surviving March, Pt. II: Embracing #MaskLife

    Well, that escalated quickly. From the time I published the my last post on March 11th, the day after the first of our emergency measures (which was the school closure announcement), only ten days ago, the situation in the world has devolved rapidly (I predict ten days from now at the end of the month, we’ll be able to say that once more, sadly). No longer are people even speaking about traveling (and if they are, they shouldn’t be). I have since learned new Czech words necessary to understand for everyday life that I haven’t had to know before, like vláda (governance), nouzový stav (emergency measure), and omezení (restriction). Where…